Ogushi Kaizuka Park - Atlas Obscura

Ogushi Kaizuka Park

A park built around the legend of a clam-loving giant who created a monumental midden. 


In Japan, there are several places and items thought to have been created by a Daidarabotchi, a Japanese mythical giant. The Ogushi Midden, which is located in park in the ancient town of Mito, in just is one of them.

According to the Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki, a record of the Hitachi Province (now the Ibaraki Prefecture) compiled in the 8th century, a giant lived atop a hill near the post office. He feasted upon clams he gathered from the beach, then discarded their shells in the massive midden (shell pile).

To commemorate this legend, a giant white statue was set up on the site. You can do more than just gaze up at the 50-foot structure; a hidden staircase lets you climb up inside the giant’s body, where you can then step onto his outstretched palm to enjoy the view of the park.

Aside from the giant statue, the park also offers fascinating archaeological exhibitions. One highlight is the Ogushi Midden, which is thought to have been made in the early Jōmon period (4000 to 2500 BC). The midden is first mentioned in a document (possibly the oldest midden mentioned in a document in the world) compiled around 713 AD, which is believed to be the oldest reference to a prehistoric site in all of Japan. The park also contains reconstructed buildings, modeled after structures from the Jōmon, Yayoi, and Kofun periods.

Know Before You Go

The GPS coordinates lead to the entrance of the park. There's a bus service from Mito Train Station to the park. Take a bus bound for "那珂湊駅" (Nakaminato Eki) or "アクアワールド大洗" (Aqua World Oarai) at the #3 bus stop at the north exit of Mito station. Get off at "常澄庁舎前" (Tsunezumi Chosha Mae) (about 25-minute ride). It takes about 10 minutes on foot from the bus stop. If you're visiting from overseas, there is a coach service from both Haneda and Narita Airports. Alternatively, Mito Station can be reached via JR Joban Line, JR Mito Line, JR Suigun Line, and Kashima Rinkai Railway.

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